LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yuting Zhang ("YZ") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

YZ : I'm a licensed architect and experienced urban designer. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Architecture, a Master's Degree of Engineering in Urban Planning from Tsinghua University, and a Master's Degree in Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

YZ : The projects have a great driving force from the public realm and how people experience the space. And projects that rise from their own urban and cultural context.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

YZ : Be patient and believe in yourself. Being an architect is a lifelong journey and you will always find something you don’t know along the path, and you have to learn every day to grow.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

YZ : Great balance on practical aspects, vision, functions, creativity, and budget.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

YZ : User’s experience through place-making and the design narrative and story telling.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

YZ : David Chipperfield is one of my favorite architects. His renovation of Friedrich August Stueler’s Neues Museum is really inspiring. Rather than restoring the museum to its previous condition or building an incongruous modern addition, Chipperfield stitched together the extant architectural fragments with simplified concrete interpretations of the missing forms. He crafted a unique response to every space, restoring what could be preserved, infilling as necessary, and thoughtfully integrating contemporary building systems. The quiet interventions restore the museum’s massing and spatial sensibility to capture the beauty of the original structure without replicating what was lost or fetishizing the ruins that remain. This is a thoughtful approach I have implemented into my own projects.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

YZ : Design is everything. As a designer, I have the benefit of not only designing for the great public but also designing my own way of living.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

YZ : Creativity, initiation, empathy, and coordination

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

YZ : Less is more.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

YZ : I was born in the old city of Beijing, my dad was an architect and my mom was a professor in the field of industrial design. So it’s kind of natural to me to want to be a designer. I was really curious and fell in love with painting from my earliest childhood. I also like literature, history, culture, and science. Being an architect is a great career to have all my interests combined through placemaking.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

YUTING ZHANG IS THE CO-FOUNDER OF STUDIO RE+N, AS AN URBAN DESIGNER AND ARCHITECT, PRACTICING IN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES. SHE IS A HARVARD GSD GRADUATE, A LICENSED ARCHITECT, AND A LEED-ACCREDITED PROFESSIONAL. HER DESIGN AIMS AT FORMULATING ARCHITECTURAL STRATEGY FROM THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT AND ITS EVER-CHANGING CONDITIONS, DELIVERING A UNIQUE IDENTITY WHILE RESPECTING THE EXISTING URBAN FABRIC, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT WITH SENSITIVITY, AND SPECIFYING DISTINCT HUMAN EXPERIENCES. SHE WON SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL AWARDS IN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN AND SERVED AS A GUEST CRITIC IN BOSTON UNIVERSITY, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY AND BAC.


Iceland Volcano Museum

Iceland Volcano Museum by Yuting Zhang


Kaffihus Hringur Coffee Shop

Kaffihus Hringur Coffee Shop by Yuting Zhang


Device of Perception Cultural Center

Device of Perception Cultural Center by Yuting Zhang

Design Legends Logo

© 2020 Design Legends - All Rights Reserved

Design Legends platform highlights valuable insights from the best designers from across the globe; a great resource for all designers to learn, reflect and think about good design and how good design helps create value for the society.

Design Legends website was created by DesignPRWire and A' Design Award to promote truly great designers, outstanding architects and inspirational artists that contribute to the development and advancement of society with their outstanding works.